Harbhajan ready to bamboozle Aussies

Published: Thursday, September 23, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Fresh from a good show at the ICC Champions Trophy, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh today served a warning to Australia saying he was looking to recreate the magic of 2001, which had grounded the world champions in India, in the upcoming four-match Test series.

"Last series is past. I don't want to think over it. But I would like to do what I had done then. I would like to take wickets against the Australians," Harbhajan said at the IGI airport here on his return from London.

Harbhajan had a hugely successful series in 2001 when he took 32 wickets in the three matches and played a vital role in India's 2-1 series win over the Steve Waugh-led Australians, earning the sobriquet of 'turbanator' from the cricket writers Down Under.

The off-spinner said India would start the series with "mental advantage" since they would be playing at home. "Australia is the number one team in the world and we have to work hard to beat them. But we have the mental advantage of playing at home. We have the support of the crowd and the assistance of the pitch. It would be a keenly contested series and would be tough for us as well as for them," he said.

Harbhajan admitted that after performing "badly" in England, the side needs to play to its potential to win the series against Australia. "We played badly in England. We could have done much better. Now we will sit and see what went wrong in England. We have to play to our potential to beat them."

The bowler said he was quite satisfied with the way he bowled in England. "Overall our bowling was quite good and I am quite happy with my performance."

The Punjab bowler returned to Delhi alongwith couple of his teammates -- Md Kaif and Amit Bhandari -- just before midnight. Most of the team members went to Mumbai directly from London from where they would leave for their respective places. Kaif declined to say anything on the team's performance in England.

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